Posted: December 3rd, 2022
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Watch the documentary Under the Dome available on YouTube here and reflect on the following questions (approx 300-500 words per question).
Quick background: This documentary was created by Chai Jing, a former journalist in Beijing who went on a long road of discovery to understand air pollution in China. After being published online in 2015 in China, the documentary was viewed more than 150 million times in four days. Internet censors then took down the documentary and it is no longer available on mainstream video platforms in China.
Note: This documentary is in Chinese with English (and Chinese) subtitles. If Chai speaks too quickly, you can adjust the play speed.
1. There are many obstacles to reducing air pollution in China, as discussed in Under the Dome. Identify at least three challenges discussed in the documentary. Which do you think is the most difficult to overcome? Why?
2.“Environmental injustice” occurs when different groups in society, usually those outside of institutions of power, are disproportionately affected by pollution. What is one example of environmental injustice in the film? Do some quick research on environmental injustice in a country other than China. How do the two countries compare in terms of who bears the burden of environmental pollution?
3.The reading for the environmental class, “Blunt force regulation and bureaucratic control: Understanding China’s war on pollution,” talks about a common way of enforcing environmental standards. How is this depicted in the film?
4.Under the Dome was censored off the Chinese internet after four days. In those four days, it was viewed more than 150 million times. Why do you think the film was so popular when it was first published?
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